SECONDMENT IS GAINING TRACTION WITHIN THE PERSONNEL, HUMAN RESOURCES – AND MORE RECENTLY, THE CORPORATE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY. Secondment: Not Second Best
The Benefits A successful secondment can provide huge benefits for all participants. For the client firm, secondment brings qualified talent which, in turn, helps meet resourcing needs in a time- and cost-effective way. For example, in the case of Ericsson in China, Cushman & Wakefield resource was brought in to help establish governance and processes for the leasing administration and document management for transactions, clearing a backlog of outstanding items in a cost effective way. When the project is completed, as with any secondement, the employee can return to his or her CRE host company, in this case Cushman & Wakefield Beijing. Meanwhile, the CRE host company, obtains unique knowledge about the operations and culture of that firm. As an example, let’s say the client firm’s executive group makes the final decisions concerning the acquisition or disposition of an industrial property. Armed with this inside information on decision makers as individuals, the CRE host company can develop proposals directed to the executive group, thereby saving time and ensuring information gets to the right people. Finally, secondments allow employees to gain new skills and industry experience. An employee on loan to a client firm will implicitly understand the firm’s unique nuances, the language and terminology used, demands of specific individual stakeholders, and be able to effectively share that information with the CRE host company.
The host company employee has a workspace within the seconding client’s location until the assignment ends. Secondment arrangements can range from a few days to a year or longer. Regardless, the main facets of a secondment are “temporary” and “separate organization.” Through a secondment assignment, an employee becomes immersed in the client firm’s organizational culture, and is in a unique position to share that knowledge and skill set with his or her CRE host company. Secondment also provides the client firm with access to unique skill sets from the CRE host company, which can be more cost- effective than hiring in-house. There is more to a successful secondment than sending talent to a client firm and assuming everything will work out. A successful secondment requires cohesiveness and preparation between three parties. The CRE host company must be willing to loan an employee, for a specific set time, to a client firm. The client firm, in turn, must provide the employee with an adequate workspace, as well as access to corporate culture and knowledge. Finally, the employee must be willing to work with the client firm, and remain open to different tasks and organizational structures. Without cooperation, alignment and understanding of expectations between these three secondment “pillars,” the arrangement won’t be effective. The Three Party Agreement
Legal and accounting professions, just to name two, rely on secondment strategies to strengthen client relationships and build employee skills. Similarly, clients rely on the flexible nature of a secondment to meet talent needs.
Secondment : [si-kond-muh nt] noun
Cushman & Wakefield is using this invaluable personnel tool which has produced great results. For example, a secondment helped fulfill an integrator role for United Technologies Corp. (UTC) in Singapore. Similar secondment strategies supported a global bank's CRE team and provided short-term project support for Ericsson in China. Given the benefits, it’s anticipated that secondment usage will grow within the CRE sector, not just in Asia Pacific, but through other Cushman & Wakefield global offices as well. What, exactly, is a Secondment? According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (a leading global authority), secondment is a “temporary movement or loan of an employee to another part of an organization, or to a separate organization.” Secondment is when a service provider “host” company lends or sends an employee to another organization, called the client firm.
38 The Occupier Edge
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